Brookhaven Town dissolves its Planning Board to eliminate ‘red tape’


The Brookhaven Town Planning Board is no more, and the Town Board is taking over. The new law is now in effect, town officials said.

“The action was taken to streamline applications, save time, save money and eliminate the ‘red tape’ commonly associated with the process of obtaining a community-supported planning approval,” reads a Brookhaven Town announcement about a resolution approving the measure, which passed unanimously at last week’s Town Board meeting in Farmingville.

How it will work

When it comes to the architecture, landscaping, fencing, lighting, signage, and other components of site plans that had previously needed approval of the appointed Planning Board, the public will now present plans directly to the planning department and the elected Town Board.

“It makes little sense to have an applicant come forward with a community-supported redevelopment to the Town Board with roughly 80 percent of the site plan completed and ready for the approval of a change of zone, to then be sent to the Planning Board for the completion of the last 20 percent and a possible year-long delay,” the town announcement reads.

Panico’s comments

For his part, the newly elected town supervisor, Dan Panico, said he’s making good on promises he made during the election season and in his inaugural address.

“In my inaugural address earlier this year, I meant every word I spoke, and it should be noted that I am doing exactly what I said I would do as Brookhaven Town supervisor,” he said in a statement. “We are going to move this town forward to a brighter future and meet the needs of our residents and our region’s economy. This is only the beginning of the changes that will come.

The town announcement also noted that local governments on Long Island have several layers, and as Suffolk County’s largest town, Brookhaven is hoping to lead by example in trimming that fat.

Panico said in no way does the measure reflect the work of the outgoing Planning Board.

“It should be noted that these reforms are in no way reflective on the work ethic or work product of the members of the Planning Board,” he said. “These members have served the town dutifully in
their roles, but we must make these changes because the times demand it.

But, he added, “We cannot and should not simply do things just because it is the way it has always been done.”

Top: Brookhaven Town Hall in Farmingville, N.Y. (Credit: Town of Brookhaven)

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